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Simulating parallel columns with the "Side by side" mode

At times, you might need to work on two independent columns of text but in synchronized mode. For example, it will be the case when you work on a translation: the original text is placed in the first column, the translated text in the next column, and they must be scrolled synchronously but edited independently.

If you try using newspaper columns (the so-called "snaking" columns), the text will automatically flow from one column to the next as soon as the bottom of the page is reached in the first column.

Of course, you do not want the text of the first column to flow into the next. The text of the left column must remain independent from the text of the right column.

You can achieve this if you use the Side by side view mode of Atlantis. Here is how to proceed:

  1. Open the document containing the text meant for the left "column". To make it look more like a "column", you can reduce its page width using the "File | Page Settings..." command. For example, if the page width of the document is 8.5":
    Page width
    you could change it to 4.5":
    Page width
    It might also be useful to reduce the left & right page margins too. In our example, the original 1" left & right margins have been reduced to 0.5":
    Page margins
  2. Create a new blank document that will be used to store the second (next) "column" (press CtrlN). Things will be most practical if you set the page width and margins of this new document to the same values that you used for the first document.
  3. Activate the "left column" document (click its button on the Document Bar).
  4. Click the "View | View Side by Side With..." menu The main menu or simply menu is a horizontal bar with clickable commands anchored to the top of the main window of Atlantis:

    Main menu
    command or click the corresponding toolbar button:
    The 'View side by side' toolbar button
    and select the newly-created blank document as the target. Atlantis will display the two documents side by side:
    Two documents side by side
  5. Use the "View side by side" context toolbar to activate the synchronized scrolling mode:
    Synchronized scrolling
  6. Start editing the two documents as you wish. In our example, the translated text is typed in the right window of the Side by Side:
    Two documents side by side
    Scrolling the left "column" (document) will automatically scroll the right column (document). Both documents will display and scroll as if they were parallel but independent columns, with no flow of text from one column to the next.

See also...